Dinosaurs and LEGO. Possibly two of my favourite things. So what’s not to love about LEGO Jurassic World? Sure it’s the same tried-and-tested formula that Traveller’s Tales and Warner Bros keep wheeling out but this prehistoric caper has to rank among my favourite LEGO titles of recent years.
The film has reached the $1bn mark at the box office faster than any other movie ever and the video game version of LEGO Jurassic Park has also been a roaring success, quickly making its way to the top of the charts.
Throughout the 20 fun story levels, you’ll encounter loads of characters recognizable from the four Jurassic movies (and quite a few who you won’t remember at all), as well as loads of controllable dinosaurs, drivable vehicles and a multitude of colourful collectibles.
"In many ways, LEGO Jurassic World feels much more coherent than many of the previous LEGO titles, with memorable moments from the films nicely recreated in block form."
There are puzzles aplenty but little that will tax even younger gamers too much. Most involve hunting a missing lever, tracking down some food for a poorly dino or fixing a dilapidated vehicle. Admittedly, once you’ve done each of these tasks a fair few times, it does get a little samey but there’s enough of that trademark humour and plenty of standout scenes to keep interest levels high.
It’s kind of cool that the game is broken down into sections, with each film summarised over five decent-sized levels. The result is that no section feels too long or drawn out, and you get to relive the stories of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, and Jurassic World (so beware of spoilers when playing the latter!).
In many ways, LEGO Jurassic World feels much more coherent than many of the previous LEGO titles, with memorable moments from the films nicely recreated in block form. And it’s handled tactfully too; many of the scarier sequences from the movies (which largely result in a dinosaur eating somebody) have been treated with humour in this incarnation to make it less harrowing for a younger audience. Even the loading screens are made a little more bearable thanks to the appearance of the chirpy cartoon character Mr DNA who spouts loads of interesting dinosaur-based facts at you. Fun and educational – what more could you want?
"All the iconic scenes make an appearance, including the raptors roaming the kitchens and rushing through the tall grasses towards their prey, to escaping from the tree-hanging jeep and the T Rex flipping the car to feast on those annoying kids."
All the iconic scenes make an appearance, including the raptors roaming the kitchens and rushing through the tall grasses towards their prey, to escaping from the tree-hanging jeep and the T Rex flipping the car to feast on those annoying kids.
But for all the good bits, there are some chase sequences and QTE segments (that see you repeatedly whacking a dinosaur on the nose) – all of which feel a little peripheral, adding no value or consequence to the gameplay. They look nice, I guess, and break up the proceedings but you wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there!
Visually, everything looks crisp and is brightly-coloured, with LEGO blocks used nicely to recreate the prehistoric world. Including voice clips from the films is a nice touch too and many of the characters and their mannerisms are perfectly captured in LEGO form.
Each of the 100 or so characters has different skills, from taking photos, fixing machinery and shooting targets to cutting through locks, screaming(!) or inspecting dinosaur droppings. As ever, switching between them is a cinch. Drop-in, drop-out co-operative gameplay is once again on offer and works very well, making this an ideal game to play with friends. Along the way you can explore, smash stuff and also access computer terminals to summon the vehicles you’ve collected or dabble with DNA and create your very own customised dinosaurs.
"Unfortunately, there are numerous glitches that often see you stuck in scenery or unable to move a character, forcing a restart and meaning lost progress. It's frustrating and a bit of a letdown."
Unfortunately, there are numerous glitches that often see you stuck in scenery or unable to move a character, forcing a restart and meaning lost progress. It’s frustrating and a bit of a letdown.
The only other downside is that the game seems far easier than its predecessors and feels far shorter. It certainly won’t take too long to work your way through the various levels and see all there is to see – although there’s still the excuse to roam the lush lands of Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna in free play and get a little more time with a triceratops, raptor, compy, dilophosaurus and a tyrannosaurus rex. As ever, the compulsion to collect all those glittering nuggets dotted about every level, along with the amber, characters, cars and dinos proves strangely addictive. Overall, another winning LEGO title!
This game was reviewed on the Xbox One.
Amusing, good-looking and includes typically excellent co-op. Scarier scenes from the films are handled well and all those iconic moments are captured nicely.
Game is a little too easy and fairly short. Bugs and glitchy gameplay are frustrating. Chase sequences and QTE are un-necessary and annoying.
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